Curtis Mayfield
There’s No Place Like America Today [vinyl]

There’s No Place Like America Today [vinyl]

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CHARLY L 166

'There's No Place Like America Today is a record of its time; but it's also an album of timeless intrigue. The world it portrays is very cold indeed, and the comfort it offers is as spare as its measured, melancholy funk. But it's comfort nonetheless, something buried so deep in the music that maybe those of us whose bones have never ached, day in, day out, on hard city streets - and good for us, I say - can't really get to grips with it... it's a masterwork.' David Bennun, Unknown Pleasures

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Mayfield at the peak of his powers on this soulful social commentary from 1975

One of the most influential performers, writers and producers of the 20th Century, Curtis Mayfield managed to combine some of the greatest soul music ever recorded with thought-provoking lyrics tackling the key social and political issues of the time.  The solo albums Curtis Mayfield recorded for his own Curtom label between 1970 up until his tragic accident in 1990 stand as testament to his genius.  Mayfield’s songs deal in the main with two themes: love and political consciousness.  His influence on American black music and culture has been immense, while his eloquent lyrics and musical style are unique in their field.


In keeping with all the albums Mayfield recorded for Curtom, 1975’s ironically titled There’s No Place Like America Today with its striking cover a grim parody depicting late 40s/early 50s black-versus-white social reality remains a landmark recording.  Juxtaposing the sweet-sounding groove of the hit single ‘So In Love’, the album’s somewhat bleaker highlights include its anti-gun opener, ‘Billy Jack’, featuring an incisive horn arrangement by Richard Tufo, the Gospel-inspired ‘Jesus’ and Mayfield’s look at contemporary American culture, ‘Hard Times’.                                                                                      

Side 1      
1. Billy Jack  
2. When Seasons Change    
3. So In Love
   
Side 2      
1. Jesus
2. Blue Monday People
3. Hard Times   
4. Love To The People

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